1. Rod. That statement by Shumlin certainly gives us all food for thought, or possibly grounds for despair. Thank you for all the support you have given on Vermont on Vermont Yankee. (And the support you have given me, also)
    Two comments. The group you quote as economists is just another grass-roots activist group, like our VPIRG up here. To economics analysis, they are like Humpty-Dumpty with words…words mean what I say they mean. Economics are what they say economics are.
    `That’s a great deal to make one word mean,’ Alice said in a thoughtful tone.
    `When I make a word do a lot of work like that,’ said Humpty Dumpty, `I always pay it extra.’
    And about engineers. I have a great regard for engineers. Also, in many countries, Professional Engineers get much more respect than they do in our country. I remember a meeting in Mexico where speakers were introduced as “Engineer Hernandez” as we might say “Doctor Hernandez” for people with a Ph.D. That never happens in this country. A few weeks ago, I was at a business school meeting for aspiring entrepreneurs. An engineer give her card to a B-school professor. He looked at the card and asked: “What’s this P.E. mean?” Sigh…

    1. David – thank you for the link. I visited the article and provided an extensive comment about the importance of “on-demand” electricity and the scary idea of an electrical power system whose stability is maintained by giving system operators the ability to ramp LOADS up and down to meet the supply being provided by the wind and sun. That is what Wellinghoff advocates with these words:

      1. Of course, if you control the loads, renewables work.
        Of course, if you control the loads, you break industrialized civilization. Human activities are not organized and cannot be organized around the weather.

  2. Perhaps Shumlin is a fan of Hayden’s “The Solar Fraud,” which explains why the term renewable energy violates the laws of physics according to the second law of thermodynamics, and lumps together all solar-derived sources (solar pv, solar thermal, wind, biomass, hydro, etc). Still, even with biomass and hydro it wouldn’t come close to 30%. About 7% is wind in Germany. Germany is now building more lignite plants, and with peak lignite looming they’re backing down from plans to replace their nuclear plants with coal plants. It will be hilarious to watch as these screwball luddites a dragged kicking and screaming into a nuclear powered world due to peak oil and peak coal (even though we’ll be told it is due to global warming).

  3. Proven reserves of german lignite will last for another 231 years, when extracted constantly by today’s 176.3 millionen metric tons per year. There are proven resources (not yet economically feasible) of another 35.2 billion metric tons.

    1. That is a dated statistic. The German government recently downgraded its official reserves numbers by more than 90%. Several recent studies from German groups have scientists sounding the alarm about coal exhaustion. Germany has only 6,000 million tons of coal– enough for 25 years. And it is becoming increasingly difficult to mine. Remember, the majority of the resource will never be economically recoverable. If more energy is invested to extract a resource than it contains, the attempt is a failure.

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